Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement & Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust

Paperback: $22.00
ISBN-13: 9780824830441
Published: January 2006

Additional Information

336 pages | 95 illus.
  • About the Book
  • Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was the largest landowner and richest woman in the Hawaiian kingdom. Upon her death in 1884, she entrusted her property–known as Bishop Estate–to five trustees in order to create and maintain an institution that would benefit the children of Hawai‘i: Kamehameha Schools. A century later, Bishop Estate controlled nearly one out of every nine acres in the state, a concentration of private land ownership rarely seen anywhere in the world. Then in August 1997 the unthinkable happened: Four revered kupuna (native Hawaiian elders) and a professor of trust-law publicly charged Bishop Estate trustees with gross incompetence and massive trust abuse. Entitled “Broken Trust,” the statement provided devastating details of rigged appointments, violated trusts, cynical manipulation of the trust’s beneficiaries, and the shameful involvement of many of Hawai‘i’s powerful.

    No one is better qualified to examine the events and personalities surrounding the scandal than two of the original “Broken Trust” authors. Their comprehensive account together with historical background, brings to light information that has never before been made public, including accounts of secret meetings and communications involving Supreme Court justices.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Samuel P. King, Author

      Samuel P. King is Senior U.S. District Judge, District of Hawai‘i, appointed in 1972, following eleven years as a Hawai‘i State Circuit Court judge.
    • Randall W. Roth, Author

      Randall W. Roth is professor of law at the University of Hawai‘i.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Almost certainly Hawaii's book of the year, a morality tale for each and every one of us.
      Spirit of Aloha
    • While many other books of its kind pay marginal attention to character exposition, the players in Broken Trust jump off the page. . . . What makes Broken Trust so fascinating is that it works on multiple levels. It's a well researched book about Hawaii's history and culture; a dramatic story of judicial, political, and corporate corruption; and a cautionary tale for acting or future charitable trust board members on everything you shouldn't do if you want to respect your organization's mission and ensure the public's trust.
      —Christopher Quay, The Exempt Organization Tax Review, 52:3 (June 2006)
    • Broken Trust is worth reading alone for its examination of changing understandings of Hawaiian persons and their place in an emerging American state through decisions about the shape of Hawaiian education, a penetrating cultural history of Hawai‘i's society. . . . [It] should be essential reading for anyone concerned about the legacy of the interdependence of Hawai‘i's educational, legislative, judicial and corporate institutions. King and Roth are at their best when laying out how trustees' constituting decisions once yielded lasting institutional tendencies, with unanticipated effects over subsequent generations.
      —Alexander Mawyer, Pacific Affairs, 79:3 (Fall 2006)
    • A sensitive and insightful story of Hawaiian culture and history ... evolving into a stunning, uniquely informed exposé about shameless abuse of charitable trust and shameful failure of public institutions.
      Professor Edward Halbach, University of California at Berkeley School of Law
    • Broken Trust chronicles a 100-year saga about politics, law, and native rights in the Fiftieth State. There are people on all sides of this conflict who would have preferred that the story be left behind, swept under the rug, or just ignored. This book is a warning to the future and a lesson on governance, power, and the management of big institutions.
      Peter Adler, President, The Keystone Center
    • The Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate saga, the most significant legal dispute of our time ... a tale of unbridled ambition, infectious greed, and high drama, recounted in a fascinating cultural context ... a treat for anyone who enjoyed Michener’s Hawaii.
      Howard M. McCue III, Chairman, Charitable Planning Committee, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    • With the verve and insight of a Tom Wolfe, the authors expose the full range of human folly and bravery. Broken Trust shows what happens when the immovable object of greed is met by the irresistible force of virtue.
      Professor Evelyn Brody, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Reporter for the American Law Institute project, The Law of Nonprofit Organizations
    • This book is required reading. Anyone—and I mean anyone—who regulates major charities or sits on their boards yet fails to read this book from cover to cover deserves to be fired for malpractice. Broken Trust is a textbook lesson in charitable trust mismanagement.
      Alan Morrison, Co-founder with Ralph Nader, Public Citizen Litigation Group; Senior Lecturer, Stanford Law School
    • The book is quite extraordinary. I'm amazed at the level of detail—both in terms of the information and [the authors’] willingness to share it given the politicized nature of the subject matter. I’m also astonished that, with so much factual information, the book is incredibly engaging. It reads like a story—with the figure of B.P. Bishop looming silently in the background—rather than a historical text. Perhaps most importantly, I appreciate the apparent balance represented in the work. My inclination is to be sympathetic to the plight of Native Hawaiians. Yet, whenever I began to think the book reflected a pro-Western bias, the pendulum would swing almost immediately in the other direction. Or, maybe, it's just that I began to see as I turned the pages, how the issues surrounding the Bishop Estate and Native Hawaiians are not black and white, but clouded with all sorts of complications and shades of gray.
      Professor Trina Jones, Duke University School of Law